How to plea bargain a good deal in a criminal case:
Do you know how to plea bargain a good deal for your case?
A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal, copping a plea, or plea in mitigation) is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge. In the U.S. legal system, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry a custodial sentence.
Remember: the burden of proof is always on the prosecution or State
- The defense must show responsibility for the crime is minimal.
- The defense must show the impact of the crime elicited little damage.
- The defense must explain mitigating circumstances that led to the crime.
- The defense must establish weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as lack of evidence, or lack of witnesses, or factual inconsistencies.
- The defense must establish good character on the part of the defendant. The crime was a departure from normal conduct.
- The prosecution and defense must mutually desire a reasonable settlement.
- The impact on the defendant’s family or dependents would be a hardship.
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